Who has owned Gibraltar throughout history?

Gibraltar is a 'British Overseas Territory' which means that it is self-governing but the United Kingdom is responsible for its defence and foreign affairs.
There is evidence of Neanderthal humans settling on Gibraltar between 28,000 and 24,000 BCE.

The first known civilisation to inhabit Gibraltar was the Phoenicians, around 950 BCE.

Later, the Carthaginians and Romans built settlements on the island. Until the collapse of the Roman Empire, when the Vandals took over the island.

Gibraltar then became part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania from 414 CE, up until the Islamic conquest of Iberia in 711 CE.


And then the island's history tends to get a bit more exciting.
  • In 1160, the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min captured the island and built fortifications on it.
  • The island was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada in 1237 and 1374.
  • The island was also fought over and captured by the Marinids of Morocco in 1274 and 1333.
  • The kings of Castille captured the island in 1309.
  • Juan Alonso de Guzmann captured Gibraltar in 1462, and then King Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of the King of Gibraltar.
  • In 1474 it was sold to a group of Christian converts from Judaism who came from Cordova, on condition they maintained the garrison on the island.
  • In 1501 the island was passed back to the Spanish crown and came under the rule of Isabella I of Castile.
  • In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the British and their Dutch allies captured the island.
  • In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht passed complete ownership of Gibraltar to the British in return for their withdrawal from the war.
  • Spain violated the treaty in 1727 by attempting but failing to siege the British fortifications. And they broke the treaty again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar between 1779 to 1783, again failing to recapture it from the British.
  • Since then, Gibraltar has been owned by the British (United Kingdom) and still is today.

Gibraltar is a very defensive position, which is why it was fought over so much. Whoever controls the island pretty much controls the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea and the crossing point between Europe and Africa, making it a very important strategic location. Today there is a British Army, British Royal Navy and British Royal Air Force base on the island, which would provide quick military response within southern Europe, Northern Africa, the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.